Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
As many as one in five (25 – 40 million) American adults suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS is one of the most prevalent disorders doctors see. It is a chronic condition with symptoms which may vary widely among individuals. Some have only mild signs of the disorder, while for others it can be a severely disabling problem. IBS can interfere with your daily activities such as work and relationships. The disorder prevents many people from living life to the fullest and may leave them feeling depressed and frustrated.
Some of the devastating symptoms include:
The intestinal walls are lined with muscles that contract and relax as they move food from the stomach through the intestinal tract to the rectum. In healthy individuals, these muscles contract and relax in a coordinated rhythm. In patients with IBS, however, the contractions may be stronger and last longer. Food is forced through the intestines more quickly, which can cause loose stool and diarrhea. In some cases the opposite occurs; food passage slows, and stools become hard and dry.
Due to their symptoms, many of these patients start suffering from malabsorption of micronutrients, vitamins and minerals, which can further exacerbate their condition and reduce overall health. It should also be mentioned that some of these patients may be suffering from other undiagnosed or misdiagnosed diseases such as celiac disease and leaky gut syndrome.
Many physicians tend to dismiss IBS patients’ complaints as if there is nothing that can be done to correct the situation, since it is not a “true” disease. After referring them for a colonoscopy, they reassure patients that there is no structural disease present. Although this is true, it must be understood that IBS is a functional bowel disorder, without any structural or organic disease to explain the presence of symptoms. Some physicians offer medications such as anti-diarrheal, laxatives, antacids, steroids and anti-inflammatory prescriptions, as well as anti-depressants to treat the symptoms, in an effort to provide relief.
Alternative care practitioners offer segmental treatments such as acupuncture for stress relief, probiotics, fiber, dietary restrictions, and suggest avoiding “problem foods.” These programs are difficult to follow because for many patients it is unclear what their “problem foods” are. This only increases their frustration and reduces compliance with recommendations. Very rarely will a patient come across a comprehensive treatment to treat the causes as well as the symptoms of IBS.
We offer the utmost comprehensive program for IBS sufferers. Our program is endorsed by leading physicians nationwide including gastroenterologists and allergy specialists. Our treatment includes a U.S. Patent laboratory testing that helps create a patient-specific oligoantigenic diet which is critical to treating IBS. We tailor the treatment according to an individual’s symptoms as well as his/ her state of health. Although we understand the need for prescribing certain medications to help alleviate immediate symptoms, we go a step further to correct the underlying causes of this condition, educate the patient, and help them to stay symptom-free.